Sunday, March 14, 2010

APDT Trial Day 2

The notebook with numbers is down in the car still so I'll try to remember scores. I'll start with the highlights...

Candy went 9/9 over the weekend.
He got his Veteran's Title.
He got High in Trial!
He also got High Combined!

We started off this morning with Level IB again, and at the moment I have only a vague recall of that class, but we did Q. I think he got a 206. Then Veteran's, WITH a level 3 bonus retrieve. That's the single exercise that I have totally trained Candy for myself. Here's the video.

Third leg in Veterans

Then Level II, where Candy got his lowest score ever, a 194. He was just not into being precise and was wide, sits were off, just sloppy in general. He Q'd with a decent score, but his first one under 200.

Afternoon started off, and this time Candy was near the last to go, and I wanted to make sure we had a shot at High in Trial. We had the 210 from yesterday, but I didn't know if it was in the bag as that was not the only 210. I purloined some corn chips from my own stash and did a little warm up motivation. As we sailed through that run I KNEW Candy had beaten the previous high, a 208, but was thrilled when he got a 210 (I thought he'd gone wide once and might have lost a point.)

The same magic didn't work for Level II as he got into excited off-leash mode and tried to outrun me, but he did hold steady on his stand for exam and got a 204, which was good enough for a 5th place runoff, but as usual he lost the runoff.

No complaints, though, as his top runs were good for High in Trial and High Combined. He got two enormous ribbons, two stuffed toys, and two bags of treats, and is a happy but tired boy tonight.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just Rewards APDT trial, Day 1

I am checked into the motel and ready for a good night's sleep!

We left home about 4:45 AM to arrive at the trial site at 7:30 am. Candy's first class was Level 1B. He got a perfect 210 and won the class!

Then we did Veteran's. He got a 201? and second place. He was a bit wild as the second station was serpentine and he wanted to run it like weave poles!

In the afternoon we had another Level 1B class, and he got a 204(?) and 5th place. We repeated a down twice for two 3 pt deductions when he wouldn't stay down.

Finally we did our very first ever Level 2 class and he was in a 3-way runoff for first place but got 2nd place as he also got very excited and wanted to run during the runoff! He lost points sniffing one food bowl but left it when I told him, and I took a redo on the pivot right as I had not left him room to turn.

So it was a great day- a first, two seconds, and a fifth place, four scores of 200 plus, and four new legs! I had thought his Level 1A legs counted for his Level championship but I just looked it up and they don't, so he can't finish that tomorrow, but he can finish his Veteran's title if he gets one more leg.

He can't finish Level 2 even with two more Q's as it will be the same judge and he will need a Q under a second judge.

There is video of his Level 2 run but it will be coming in awhile.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why does it take two days to prepare for a two-day trip?

Well, maybe one whole day...

First, there is all the pre-planning. Which dogs are coming, what happens to the one who stays home. Where to stay. When to leave.

Who comes: Candy, of course. Merlin, as he needs me. Jack, because he has seizures and isn't trusted loose unsupervised at home. Who stays: Janine, because she hates the car and is just one too many if I can safely leave her behind. I feel guilty but I'll survive and so will she.

Where to stay: Last trial I stayed at a Days Inn in Redwood City. It was horrible. The entries to the rooms were on the opposite side of the building from the parking, so Merlin in the car was too far from us. (I ended up worrying so much that I brought him in.) It was also incredibly noisy from people coming and going upstairs and next door. So I booked a motel 6 in Sunnyvale that we've stayed at for Bay Team CPE trials- a very nice one, twenty minutes further away but on a Saturday I can live with that.

When to leave: driving in to Sunnyvale on Friday evening is out. Maybe if it were post daylight savings, but I don't want to hit Bay area traffic on Friday night even if I am mostly going the opposite direction. So we are leaving at the crack of predawn on Saturday. This means everything has to be packed tonight but I would do that anyway.

Packing: Dog prescriptions. My prescriptions. Food. Diapers for dogs. Don't forget Candy's retrieve object ( a paint roller.) Summary of APDT signs.

Gas: fill up, it only gets more expensive.

Audio: put a new book on the GPS for listening on the road. This trip it is "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult.

Leave the house neat enough (well, not really) for Linda to come feed Janine. Leave treats and toys for Janine.

(Janine is sitting outside waiting for the pool guy to come- he gives her milkbones so her Friday ritual is awaiting his visit!)

And I nearly forgot the beauty treatment: not only does Candy need a rear-end bath but he needs to be pinned and his nails trimmed (I put on the rose gloves, get the Dremel, and wrestle his head to the floor so he can't bite as I Dremel.) And not only Candy, but his cart gets the beauty treatment- decorations (only the ducks) removed, sheepskin washed, and poop cleaned off the wheels.

Hmm, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to Goleta in May!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Level 2 Trial March 13-14

So Saturday morning early we will be taking off for Redwood City for Candy's Level 2 APDT Rally trial. We have been practicing for this by attending GeriLu Jurey's
"Proofing in the Park" class for the past five weeks, as well as attempting to learn a few exercises including a moving down and a retrieve. The retrieve is a bonus exercise in Level 3, but could show up in the Veteran's class. Here's a little teaser on our retrieve progress:


Here's the schedule:

Saturday, 8:30 AM, Level 1B
followed by Veterans

Noon: Level 1B
followed by Level 2

Sunday 8:30 AM
Level 1B
Level 2

Noon: Level 1B
Level 2

Candy cannot get a Level 2 title as it requires 3 legs under 2 judges and there will be only one Level 2 judge. But he needs four Level 1 legs for his Level 1 championship (which he could get) and two Veteran's legs for his Veteran's title (which he could get.) So keep your fingers and paws crossed for us!

Now for the real challenge of the weekend: I have to bring along Merlin and Jack. Merlin because he is also in a cart and has DM and only wants me to help, and Jack because he can't be left at home uncrated and because he has epilepsy. They will be crated in the car during the trial (if it is sunny the car will be covered and kept cool with windows open and reflective tarps.) Jack is likely to get pretty bored in the car. Merlin loves the car but could decide not to sleep at the motel. Janine, poor dear, is being left at home with my neighbor to dogsit; she doesn't like the car or Candy very much.

Candy's Blog: Introduction

I decided that Candy needed his own blog or he might try to take over Merlin's blog, so here goes. Candy probably needs little introduction. He is almost ten years old (in March 2010) and is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who experiences life in a canine cart or wheelchair.

Candy began his life in Ohio. His first owner, Linda, had expected a girl puppy, and her granddaughter had her heart set on the name Candy, and was in tears when he turned out to be a boy. Linda consoled her by naming the boy puppy Candy anyway. He was a beautiful corgi puppy with just a tad too much white for show.

Linda trained him for agility, and Candy excelled. At almost four, he was headed for his MACH (AKC agility championship) when he suddenly, walking across the living room, gave a yelp and started to limp. Within 12 hours he was paralyzed in the hind end. He had surgery very quickly, but as the days and weeks passed following surgery, no function returned. Linda borrowed a K9 Cart for him and the second phase of his life began.

In 2008, faced with ongoing health issues and care of others, not to mention stairs, Linda decided she needed to find Candy a home where he could be more active (lifting him to go up and down stairs was a problem and he was always stuck at home.) This is when I got Candy. He flew to Seattle in May of 2008.

Mom and I met him at the airport and went immediately to a Northwest Corgi Afternoon at Kathy and Leo's. Candy demonstrated his cart prowess, his sociability, and his adaptability as he motored around the group as at home as if he'd grown up in their backyard. He amazed all of us with his command of the cart as he wove in and out of lawn chairs and down steps.

Because I thought it might be good for bonding, I enrolled Candy that June in a beginning Rally Obedience class. At the first class I discovered that my new dog was a pro at most obedience commands. The only one he seemed not to know was "Leave it!" After puzzling over what command Linda might have used, I finally called her. She laughed and said "He's having you on. He knows that command very well!"

I soon learned that APDT Rally allowed dogs in carts to compete, but was disappointed to discover only a tiny West Coast presence. A trial was scheduled for October, 2008, near Santa Barbara, California. "Only" four hours from Fresno was close enough, and I entered Candy.

He started-and finished- his Level 1 title that weekend, with an Award of Excellence. Here are a couple of videos.

Second Leg

Third Leg

He also got his first leg in Veteran's with a score of 210 out of a possible 210.

At home, I built Para-agility equipment, and Candy showed his enthusiasm for this sport as well.


In the fall of 2009, we entered our second APDT trial, which was only Level 1, so Candy could not go on to a new title. Now we are almost ready for Level 2, which will be the subject of the next blog post.